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I Am Courted (1)
One Friday morning, when mother was still alive and in good health, together with Rochl we went to the center of Kletzk. We entered a hairdresser's salon with the intention of having Rochl's hair cut. When going out, I used long hair with an artificial braid. My younger sister Taibe had two long and beautiful braids. The hairdresser asked for a payment of one dollar.

"What dollar are you talking about?” I asked annoyed,

“Here we use zlotys for payment!"

“All right, let it be zlotys but at the value of one dollar”.

I answered: “I will never return to this beauty salon!”

I am mentioning this incident, for it was unforgettable. The young hairdresser started following us to wherever we went. He told us that we were “Green", meaning new arrivals, and he wanted to learn who our friends were and who accompanied us on our outings. This way he came to know Tilly, our youngest sister and she told mother. Mother was very pleased that already somebody seemed to be courting me and she commented that she knew the hairdresser and that he belonged to a good familybalebatish, as it was said. But his father had died earlier and he had to earn his living from an early age. Mother liked him and he started visiting us. I did not like him and whenever he came to our home, I went out with my friends and left him talking with mother. At that time I had no intentions of getting used to somebody.

Almost two years went by and on Fridays he kept coming to our house and talked with mother. Only after the decree closing the gates of the U.S. was published, I started to listen to mother and began getting closer to him and to take him seriously. My goal had been to reunite with father in the U.S., but this had become impossible.

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Editor's Notes: a good family: The young hairdresser was a member of the Gelfands, a numerous and well-known Kletsk family. “M. Gelfand” is listed as a hairdresser in the Kletsk entry in the 1929 Polish Business Directory. Apparently Max had left Kletsk for Argentina several years before this survey.

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